It would happen every year... after the Super Bowl, someone (usually from sales) would come wandering over to my office and say, "Did you see that ad in the Super Bowl! That company - Pets.com! It was cool! We should do that!"
Because, I guess, if we did that then everyone would immediately start writing orders for our $100,000 software package designed for a niche business market!
It's true: if we advertised on the Super Bowl, chances are every potential customer would think that we were the biggest player in our little market. Of course, we'd have no money left for anything else.
Still, the power of Super Bowl ads to capture the imagination and destroy common sense seems boundless, and so I had to chuckle when I saw this headline in Advertising Age: Better ROI From YouTube Video Than Super Bowl Spot.
"Super Bowl" and "ROI" in the same sentence always makes me chuckle. Not that everyone advertising there is wasting their money; hardly. If you need to reach a mass audience and you want to make a big splash, it's a reasonable choice to make. Measuring actual ROI on it, however, means fooling yourself about what you were trying to accomplish.
The Ad Age story is about Dove's "Dove Evolution" spot, which has been buzzing all over the Internet since it appeared on YouTube. It's an impressive bit of viral marketing: the message is compelling, it's well-produced. And the distribution is more or less free, thanks to YouTube and news pickups.
So of course the ROI will be great; the I is small, so the R is relatively bigger. But comparing it to Super Bowl ads sells it short, I think; comparing it to a regular Dove TV commercial would be a more accurate (and even more impressive) way to put it into perspective.